Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Biloxi Confidential

More Clues and Suspicions

With the Sherrys' children in town right after the murder, investigators began questioning them individually. Leslie, the youngest, told authorities that her father kept a detailed date book with him at all times. Hoping this date book might offer some clues as to who might have been scheduled to visit the Sherrys around the time of their deaths, investigators searched Vince's clothes and the living room where he was at the time. However, no book was found, and investigators were, if possible, more baffled that they were in the beginning. Whoever committed the murders, they concluded, must have made off with this potentially incriminating piece of evidence.

In questioning Eric Sherry, police suspicions were raised, albeit for flimsy reasons. Even though Eric had been at home in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., at the time of the murders, some people claimed to have seen Eric in Biloxi around the same time. Furthermore, his cold and stoic nature gave the appearance of indifference to his parents' death, leading authorities to theorize he could have done it. But, the most stunning revelation investigators unearthed was the fact that Eric had been adopted, a fact only Lynne, Margaret, Vince and a handful of others knew. Even Eric didn't know it.

Perhaps Eric could have somehow found out he was adopted and been angry enough at Vince and Margaret for not having told him sooner to kill. It was farfetched and ultimately discarded as a possible motive, but it indicated the investigators' frustration. No possibilities or motives were being ruled out.

But Eric continued to remain high on the list in the initial going. A female friend of his telephoned Biloxi police that Eric told her he had been planning to be in Biloxi on Sunday and Monday, September 13 and 14, 1987. Since he hadn't mentioned this when police questioned him, investigators immediately suspected that he might have been lying about other things as well.

While Eric was being investigated, the murder case took an unexpected turn. Harrison County Sheriff's Department Investigator Greg Broussard received a call from Ruthie Smith, Judge Sherry's court reporter. She had a tape that she wanted Broussard to hear. During a hearing on May 12, 1987, four months before Sherry and his wife were murdered, the judge had told a woman who was seeking a protective order from her husband that he, too, had been threatened.

"Would you believe, dear lady, that in the past two weeks, I've had an out-of-state threat on my life and an in-state threat on my life? And I know where it's coming from. But I'll see myself in the pits of hell before I'll be afraid of these people," Vince was heard saying on the tape.

He went on to say, "Believe me, I identify with you on this business of cheap threats against your life. But, as you pointed out to me, he's done it to you once. These clowns that are after me haven't gotten me yet?"

To whom was Vince referring as the source of the threats? The evidence on the tape opened up the very real possibility that he had known his killer. But who was it? The tape offered no clues as to the perpetrator's identity, and the case remained an unsolved mystery.


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